News Internet firm Mawingu gets Sh1.1 billion for expansion


Internet firm Mawingu gets Sh1.1 billion for expansion

A store in Nanyuki town, connected to wifi via Mawingu network. File Photo | Joseph Carney | NMG

Rural and peri-urban internet service provider Mawingu Networks has secured US$9 million (Sh1.1 billion) from three equity investors to fuel its expansion.

The latest funding sees new investor InfraCo Africa join existing institutional investors E3 Capital and Dutch development bank FMO.

InfraCo invested US$6 million (Sh739.5 million), while the other two each contributed US$1.5 million (Sh185 million).

“InfraCo Africa’s $6 million commitment through its dedicated investment arm will support Mawingu’s rollout of infrastructure across Kenya that will increase access to affordable internet connectivity for underserved households and businesses,” said the infrastructure investment firm. said in a statement.

Also read: Internet is a basic need for everyone to have access

InfraCo is supported by the governments of the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Founded in 2012, Mawingu’s original mission was to provide Internet services to communities in the foothills of Nanyuki, Kenya, using wireless technology to build Internet networks in rural and peri-urban areas.

In its industry statistics report for the three months to September last year, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) said Mawingu had 14,370 internet users, accounting for 1.5 percent of the total market share.

Compared to its competitors, it ranks 1st after market leaders Safaricom (35.6%), Wananchi Group (25.5%), Jamii Telecommunications (22.1%), Poa Internet (10.8%) and Liquid Telecommunications Kenya Limited (1.7%) six percentile).

Last January, Poa Internet raised Sh3.1 billion from Africa50, an African Development Bank-backed financing vehicle, to expand its services to more low-income areas in Kenya and beyond.

Currently operating in 15 counties in Kenya, Mawingu said the new round of funding will enable it to expand to another 25 counties, with a focus on the rural market.

“Mawingu will begin its expansion program in February 2023 and has set its sights on Western Kenya, targeting Kisii, Migori, Bungoma and Kakamega. This launch will set the pace for this year as more parts of the country are connected every month ,” the company said.

Also read: Kenya Power starts selling fixed internet

With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, people tending to work from home and schools adopting e-learning, the demand for fixed internet has exploded in recent years.

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